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September 15, 2023

Imperfect Moves - Day 9 of Imperfect10

By Emily Field

“Every season is one of becoming, but not always one of blooming. Be gracious with your ever-evolving self.” — B. Oakman
During my first pregnancy, I was teaching a crazy amount of classes. I was in the “best shape” I had ever been, and therefore childbirth was supposedly going to be a breeze. I’ll spare the details of how that assumption played out, but I can tell you my body was changed forevermore.
I remember my first workout postpartum. I was going to ease back into movement, starting with light, familiar activities. I stepped forward into a lunge and - literally - could not stand back up.  I just dropped slowly to my knee, then to the ground, then used assistance to stand back up.  With a little less pride, I went for a *slow* jog down the street. It felt like I was leaving parts of me along the road with each jarring step.
What was happening? When was I going to “get my body back?"

The important lesson I eventually learned and the point I quickly want to make:

It’s not wise to make goals that live in the past.

The body you used to have, the things you used to do, the person you used to be…will never be the entirety of who you are today and who you will be in the future.  Rather than trying to reclaim the past, let’s give ourselves the gift of growth and new discoveries. 

Since having 3 babies my body has continued to change over and over. In some expected ways, I’m not as nimble or light-footed. In some unexpected ways, I’m stronger and more flexible. It’s a decision to keep showing up and learning what I can do rather than not showing up because of the things that I no longer can do (or that don’t quite look or feel the same).

This “can do” mentality is not relegated to major body changes like pregnancy – or even periods of time like a season of life. The way we’re able to show up for a workout changes DAILY.  Getting a poor night’s sleep, feeling under the weather, or being mentally exhausted can all impact your physical output. So maybe you march in place instead of doing high knees. Maybe you take more breaks or miss some steps. Focus on what you are doing!    

Every day is not a day to set your personal record.

Your best today may not look like your best has been or what your best will be.

What you can or cannot do today doesn’t define what you’re capable of doing.

This is a mentality shift for many of us. It doesn’t mean we are abandoning the idea of progress or working towards goals. It’s valuing progress over perfection and honoring the imperfect journey of becoming our best selves – and not deceiving ourselves with the false reality that our best is behind us.

Keep moving your body. Keep learning, loving, and appreciating your changing and aging body. Watch and see what it gives back to you, and you may find that the best is still yet to come.

Reflect on your imperfect moves:
When have you not been able to give 100% to a workout, but chosen to show up with your 50% anyways?
Do you tend to spend more time reminiscing or missing a previous version of yourself? How can you honor the past while still committing to growth into the future?


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